Man convicted in 2011 for wife's murder freed on bond after appellate ruling

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by MATT GOODMAN and SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON

WFAA

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 7:43 PM

DENTON –– Charles Stobaugh posted bond and walked out of the Denton County Jail on Thursday, mere weeks after an appellate court tossed out the 2011 conviction in the murder of his missing wife. 

Kathy Stobaugh has been missing since 2004. Charles Stobaugh was reportedly the last to see her –– she went to her estranged husband’s Denton County farm a day before their divorce was to become final. 

Her car was found in his driveway but there was no sign of her after that. No one ever accessed her bank or credit card accounts. Stobaugh was found guilty in her death and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2011. Last month, the Second District Court of Appeals in Fort Worth determined there wasn’t enough evidence to uphold the conviction. 

“The court appeals said the evidence was legally insufficient to find Mr. Stobaugh guilty of murder,” said defense attorney Reagan Wynn. “I think, at this point, this is all that matters.” 

The state has said it plans to appeal the decision. As such, Stobaugh has yet to be cleared of the charges. A judge issued a $25,000 bond during a hearing Thursday. His family posted it and he walked away from the Denton County Jail. However, a GPS monitor limits his movements to Denton, Cook and Tarrant counties. 

Should the state appeal the decision, a higher court in Austin will review the lower court’s decision. Stobaugh had few words leaving jail. 

“I am a little relieved, I want to get home,” he said as he walked from the jail accompanied by his son, daughter and attorney. “It’s been an experience.” 

Kathy’s brother, Chris Munday, called the appellate ruling disheartening and vowed to continue to fight. 

“There is no doubt in my mind or my family’s mind and some of his family’s mind that he did it, he killed Kathy,” Munday said. 

Email srobertson@wfaa.com

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